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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  August 16, 2021 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT

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this monday night as we start a new week. our thanks for being here with us. on behalf of all our colleagues at the networks of nbc news, good night. if we can, we're battling technically difficulties, but we're going to try to start tonight live in kabul. it is 5:30 in the morning, tuesday morning right now in kabul, and's chief foreign correspondent richard angle, should probably know he has spent big portions of the last decades of his life in afghanistan during the war there. richard also just weeks ago, before some of the last fierce fighting by and the afghan commando units, fighting against taliban forces. we now know that was some of the last fighting like that that there was an afghanistan.
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and richard was right there in the middle of it. but now that the taliban have been able to take control of all of the provincial capitals, and then the whole country, including kabul, without fighting at all, not in a military operation. but what appears to be a negotiated surrender by afghan government forces and the afghan military. all over the country. as the taliban have now walked into kabul, without firing a shot. richard has been there recording around the clock, as they have taken over. we have been battling some technical difficulties, as you might imagine, for some obvious reasons. but i do believe, we have our dear friend richard joining us live, richard thank you. i'm sorry to have you up at this hour. but thank you. >> it's no problem at all. it comes with the territory with your show. >> seriously. seriously i have bad karma as
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you know, from the very beginning. richard let me just ask, how you are right now, what's these last few days has been like for you with all that you've seen in kabul, over the years. and what you are expecting over the day that is newly-dawning right now where you stand. >> so the taliban are spreading their wings. they are establishing more and more of their control. they're trying to establish a government, the first two days in power, they were coming out of the woodwork so to speak. they were battling looters, because that happened here. there was a collapse of law in order, when the president fled. when all the police, flood even local security guards fled. anyone who wore a uniform or had a gun, was free and that the taliban would come in and think they were soldier and attacked them. so that created a power vacuum, the couple is not a small city. there's millions of people here. so the taliban have slowly been
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out, showing their presence, battling looters, trying to reestablish some degree of law in order. because that's their main selling point. they say they are the law and order candidates, they will be here to bring order to the streets. severe order, but under islamic justice. we will see now. that some order is being established, but what happens next. when we start seeing the real taliban emerge. will they start showing their true colors, so far, they have been saying nothing but positive things. that they want to have peace and inclusion. and that they are willing to work with some of the members of the government. but, the taliban is at its core, a hard line fundamentalist organization. a group that believes this was a gift by god, it's victory. and if you challenge them, and people will start challenging them, and people have been challenging them in other areas, it can get nasty very very
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quickly. i think we are going to see more of with the taliban rule is really all about we >> richard i've been looking today afghan news sources whenever i can. to the extent you can get them online, and get machine translations and all that sort of thing. i was struck by a bunch of reporting, i felt like i was seeing from afghan news sources, saying that the taliban was asking local officials, not like mayors or people in any real position of power, but local functionaries, in local governments, to keep doing what they usually do. keep traffic moving, keep basic services going, and that they've told at least some media outlets, to keep going with their normal programming. that the taliban were not going to interfere with even news media broadcasts. are they trying to make it seem like this is a normal transfer of power, between normal political groups? >> that is absolutely what they're saying. but it's hard to believe that
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it's the case. already we've seen some of the -- creeping in. i've spoken to, leaders not in the last couple of days, when they are bathing in this post victory glow. but they haven't changed, their views on women have not changed. the ones i've spoken to anyway have not. they still believe that they were right, that they are victory here, has proven that their path was the right one, so they are telling people, that to come back to work in the civil servants need to keep the traffic flowing, and keep the garbage collected, in the water purified, but in northern afghanistan. you have to see what happened, northern afghanistan fell before the south. they did the same thing. they told people come out, civil servants keep, working no problem they'll be no issues, but as soon as those civil servants didn't obey, the taliban went house to house and said get back to work, islamic
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justice, televangelist's will come down upon your head. in on the media, it's self censorship already, they've taken women off the media. they've been recovering signs that showed women wearing makeup or any kind of subjective, they weren't that suggestive to be good with, but anything remotely suggested, sexually subjective, has been taking out of the. streets advertising things like that. as the taliban gets more and more confident, they're often described as very arrogant. and right now, we if you believe 100,000 percent, that your religious fundamentalist ideology is correct, and none other one has been correct. and that god has just rewarded you with victory over a great superpower, because of your devotion to that ideology, you can get more overconfident, more arrogant. so no, i am not confident that
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these calls for normality, and normalcy excuse me, will continue. . we may be seeing it now, but that will dissolve at first contact. along those same, lines as an extension of that same line of reasoning. i feel like there is a lot of armchair quarterbacking in the u.s. and elsewhere right now, about how afghanistan, having now been inevitably taken over by the taliban, the next stage is that they will inevitably become a country in civil war again. why i am curious about, in wondering what you're seeing, is who is marshall in any force on the other side? if the afghan army just dissolved across sides to join the taliban, is anybody standing against the taliban? who is ultimately going to rise above invite them? >> so two people have formed an opposition. the former security chief, and
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a warlord son, have formed a bit of a resistance group in the valley, but that's about it. there was the old generation overlords, it's important to remember a little bit of this history. you had the war lords. , they, with the cia's helped pushed out the soviet union in the eighties. and that was their big moment, and these war lords, because they were able to push out the soviet union, rose up. they got a lot of power. they became pain famous. they got a lot of momentum. and there's been talk since then, that these war lords, these famous war lords, we're going to stand up and fight against the taliban. they did not. a lot of them escaped. they escaped at first contact. because over the last 20 years, these were lords were living on their name, and their reputation. they said they had all of these
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thousands of fighters, they actually didn't have all of these thousands of fighters. but they were able to live on that reputation, of having pushed out the soviet union. and it was a giant feather in their cap. they faded away. they got old. they got lazy. the taliban came in. and they, i don't know if it'll be for the next 20 years, they are now the ones who will benefit from that same kind of psychological boost. the initial war lords defeated the soviets, we defeated the united states. so, there were two scenarios here as things started to deteriorate. one that it would collapse into a civil war, i actually didn't think that would happen because some of these old war lords, these two thistle guys, they don't have the people they think they have. or that the taliban would take the country and that is what they have done. >> richard, in terms of the u.s., and the re-deployment of troops, back to the airport, what do you think is going to happen at the airport?
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as we understand from the pentagon, 35 u.s. troops, they're as of by the end of the day today, heading towards 6000. obviously the main effort is to consolidate american assets, at the airport, including the ambassador in whatever embassy staff remains. but also to facilitate these evacuations. what do you expect is going to happen. there is the taliban going to stop those taliban at those evacuations? >> there's an interesting dynamic here, the u.s. wants to protect the people. in the u.s. wants to safely evacuate the personnel who are still here. but they keep bringing in more and more people, six or 7000, are on their way. are already here. and those people are also going to have to be evacuated. so it's going to take longer because the bringing in more forces. but it sends a message to the taliban, every time you slow it down, every time there's an issue, we're bringing in more
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and more troops, which is something the taliban does not want. so far, the taliban have been tolerance of having the americans leave. they've been tolerance of having the americans bring in extra troops, but there is a tipping point. so there will be some stage when the taliban says no more, we don't want you we occupying. we don't want you coming back in the thousands and thousands. this is our country now. it doesn't take 7000 of your troops to evacuate a few thousand personnel. so far, so good. i don't want to say because nothing about what's happened has been so good, but on this specific question, you're talking about the evacuation at the airport. it was paused for several hours because of these horrendous scenes, of people rushed out of the airport, and they were standing on the tarmac, in the planes can land because they would've squashed people, and they couldn't take off because people were hanging on to them. people have now been cleared off so the planes are moving
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again. but, i wonder, and i watch, if the u.s. keeps bringing in people the taliban could at some stage say, enough is enough, this is not just evacuation anymore. >> and receives chief foreign correspondent richard angle, who's already burned through the midnight oil, is now on to the midnight early oil, soon the noon oil. richard thank you so much my friend, be safe and good luck. i know you're in there for the long haul. >> no problem thank you. >> in 2010, hard to believe more of a decade now, i'll never forget him taking on its were in kabul, of a neighborhood that literally had not existed before the u.s. war started in afghanistan in 2001. this was a decade into the war at that point. and this whole neighborhood in kabul built from scratch, was narco palaces, people derived the architecture in which you
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see in this is very garish niebuhr hood. as, sort of gained stir chic, there is these big garish, gigantic were cocoa strange looking places. places designed to look very very rich, in a poor country. and these were houses that were often rented out as villas to westerners. visiting afghanistan, visiting kabul as part of the war effort. or diplomacy around the war. or journalism. all of these places, in this neighborhood in kabul, head guards and gates, and they would run out for lots and lots of money. but none of those houses, that entire neighborhood in kabul, none of those existed before the war effort. they only sprang into existence once the u.s. ship thousands of troops into afghanistan, and started regularly turning billions of dollars into that country. one of the poorest countries on earth. and never forget, that because i feel like it taught me something, that you can only sort of experience by being
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there. because it makes you feel in your bones in a way you cannot forget it. it does say something, just mathematically. if you do put billions of dollars a month into the economy of one of the world's poorest countries, you send over billion dollars a month, month and month out for a whole year, and then you do that month in a month out for a whole second year. and then month and month out for a whole third year. billions of dollars every month. ultimately you do billions of dollars a month, for 20 solid years. if you do that, and at the end of the 20 years of investment, it's still one of the poorest countries on earth, there is a problem. that tells you something, about what's the benefit of his of this expenditure. what were the results of our massive expenditure? our massive effort in afghanistan? the u.s. after, and expenditure in that country did definitely build some stuff.
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roads and roundabouts and schools and water projects. absolutely it. did part of the reason, even that scale of investment over 20 years, did not materially change more about what it's like to live in afghanistan, is because so much of what we put into afghanistan, was shoveled off and diverted by the boatload, by a fantastically corrupt elite. from the very beginning. this was ten years ago. this verge of me and richard looking at this neighborhood in kabul. but this was true from the very beginning. and it's still true to this day. you might have seen this weekend the taliban footage of them lounging around inside the home of an afghan government official. this is this weekend, you're a government official really. it reminds you of the footage of the golden toilet fixtures, in the private museums, in the incredibly techy ornate palace, they got to see you in the ukrainian dictator was ousted in 2014. and had to flee to moscow to save his skin. dictator chic is the same the
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world over. corruption always smells the same. and really like gold fixtures. but afghanistan, nobody who has spent considerable time, there during the u.s. were effort these last 20 years, nobody i have talked to, has not focused in and that is a really important effect of what we've been doing there for the last 20 years. there's basically, three forms of impact that we had our effort and expenditure there. yes, us having tons of u.s. troops there, spending billions of dollars there for 20 years. we did build some things for that country. but, secondly, that massively sustained spending also supercharged the corruption of a fantastically corruptly in that country. it made it so it was really room units have to acquire political power. because once you acquire political power, you could personally get your hands on some of those american war dollars, and make yourself a
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whole house that looks like donald trump's living room, with the big stuff line you can ride on. there was great incentive, for great corruption. and that in turn was a recipe for terrible governance. governance that does nothing for the actual people of the country. and by increasing the ungoverned billet-y of the country, by further corrupting the corrupt elites of the country, you leaving the country in some ways were soft. if you've now just incentive fides, the worst behavior by that country's leaders, that renders the country less governor rubble than it was before we started spending all this money there. so we did build some stuff. we did create a fantastically corruptly, and thereby perhaps a left concernable country. but there is one other thing. , that are expenditure there in our effort there bill. one other thing that we did by. and that was a huge amount of weaponry. weapons large and small. weapons high tech and low tech.
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military facilities, military vehicles, military bases. that's a very huge amount of the expenditure went. and in the end, what has become of that? well, some of it we were able to destroy in time, some of it we were able to airlift out in time. but anything that we could not destroy or later lift out in time, has become the property of the taliban. including literally, u.s. military bases, and helicopters. and mortars and rifles and grenades, and everything. we have just created a very very well armed taliban fighting force. the military, the afghan military, we spent all these years build building, they did not want to fight in the. and they walked away. the taliban takeover of the country was not a military takeover, the taliban walked into kabul without firing a shot. the military, and the government, and all the provincial capitals, all
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surrendered, to the taliban, or just walked away. in kabul the central government, there in the security forces, supposedly defending, kabul they did the same, just as they did on the other provinces. the washington post reported in detail how that came to be over the weekend, you see the headline there. afghanistan's military has collapsed, illicit deals and mass desertions. the spectacular collapse of afghanistan's military, that allowed taliban fighters to walk into the afghan capital sunday despite 20 years of training, and billions of dollars in america need. began with a series of deals brokered in rural villages. the deals were initially offered, starting early last year. when the taliban capitalized on the uncertainty caused by the february 2020 agreement reached indoor cutter. between the taliban in the united states. calling for a full american withdrawal from a dentist in. the negotiation surrender to the taliban, slowly gained pace in the month following the doha deal. over the next year and a half,
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following the dough audio. the meetings advanced from the world village level to the district level and then rapidly and the provincial capitals. culminating a breathtaking series of negotiating surrenders by government forces, according to interviews with more than a dozen afghan officers, police special officers troops and other soldiers. within a little more than a week, taliban fighters overran more than a dozen provincial capitals unanswered kabul with no resistance, triggering the departure of afghanistan's president and the collapse of his government. afghan security forces in the districts ringing kabul and in the city itself simply melted away. because they agreed with the taliban in advance that they would do that. because they started making those deals over the last year and a half when it became crystal clear if it wasn't clear before that we would leave, the previous administration did send mike pompeo over to doha to meet with the taliban in person and that guy on the right there
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that he's meeting with, my end up being the new president of afghanistan under the taliban. or whatever they call the role of president. mike pompeo met with him in person to tell him for sure that there would be a full and complete u.s. withdrawal. that was the agreement between the u.s. government and the taliban no room for misunderstanding. once the taliban had that personal assurance from the u.s. secretary of state they started the very practical deal making back home so that not as many people would have to die. so the taliban takeover would not have to be too bloody wouldn't happen. they started negotiating in villages moved up to small cities in towns. to provincial capitals and ultimately secured their deal in kabul. and indeed the army we built and paid for and the government we supposedly propped up with those boatloads of billions of dollars a month month after month for, 20 years. they really did just hand over the key is when the time came. and now president biden is taking it from all sides for
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this takeover happening on his watch in the sickening consequences in prospects of what it means for the taliban to be back in control of the country. president biden admitted today it's helping faster than they thought it would they planned for the eventuality but it's faster than they thought it would happen. because it's faster than they would happen he said today they are scaling up evacuation plans, even now, to belatedly try to meet the pace of developments on the ground will have more on that coming up this hour. when it comes to whether or not the u.s. should be leaving, president biden is taking the criticism in saying he's willing to take the criticism body sticking to the fundamental argument, which frequently is a fundamental observation. that the premise of the heart of why we were there for so long, has been disproven. the reason u.s. forces did not leave in 2001, when the taliban first offered to surrender. the reason they did not leave in any of the 20 years since then, is because our presence was supposedly doing some good.
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building up specifically some kind of government, in some kind of military. some kind of security force internally, that could stand on its own and sustain itself after we left. that is why we state. it turns out, that was wrong. that may be what we told ourselves and we were building there all this time. we now know that's not what we are actually doing. boy did we shovel a lot of money, and a lot of lives into that campfire. but we are kidding ourselves, if we tell ourselves now that what we were building, is a government in a military that would stand up once we were gone. >> afghanistan political leaders gave up. they fled the country. the afghan military collapsed. some time without trying to fight. if anything, the developments of the past week, reinforced that any u.s. military
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involvement in afghanistan now, was the right decision. american troops cannot, and should not, be fighting in a war and dying in a war, that afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves. we spent over a trillion dollars. we trained and equipped an afghan military force, of some 300,000 strong. incredibly well equipped, a force larger in size than the militaries of many of our nato allies. we gave them every tool, they could need, we could not provide them, with the will to fight for that future. there's some very brave and capable afghan special forces units and soldiers, but if afghanistan is unable to mount any real resistance to the taliban now, there is no chance,
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that one year, one more year, five more years, 20 more years, the u.s. military boots on the ground would've made any difference. here's what i believe, to my core, it is wrong to order american troops, to step up in afghanistan's own armed forces would not. i'm now the fourth american president, to preside over war in afghanistan, to democrats to republicans. i will not pass this responsibility on to a fifth president. i will not mislead the american people, by claiming it's just a little more time in afghanistan, will make all the difference. nor will i shrink my share of responsibility for where we are today. and how we must move forward from here. i am president of the united states of america, and the buck stops with me.
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i'm deeply saddened by the facts, we now face, but i do not regret my decision to end america's war fighting in afghanistan, i maintain a laser focus on our counter-terrorism mission, there and other parts of the world, our mission to degrade, the tears threat of al-qaeda in afghanistan, and kill osama bin laden was a success, our decades-long effort to overcome centuries of history, and permanently change and remake afghanistan was not, in a row and believed it never could be. i cannot and will not ask our troops to fight endlessly, in another country's civil war, taking casualties, suffering life shattering injuries, leaving families broken by grief and loss. this is not in our national
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security interests. it is now with the american people want. it is not, what our troops who have sacrificed so much over the past two decades deserve. i made a commitment to the american people, when i ran for president, that i would bring america's military involvement in afghanistan to an end. well it's been hard and messy, and yes far from perfect, i am honored that commitment. more importantly, i made a commitment to the brave men and women who serve this nation, that i was not going to ask them to continue to risk their lives in a military action that should've ended long ago. our leaders did that in vietnam when i got here is a young man. i will not do in afghanistan. i know my decision will be criticized. but i would rather take all of that criticism, and passed this decision on to another
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president of the united states, yet another. one of fifth one. because it's the right one, it's the right decision for our people. the right one, for our brave service members who risked their lives serving our nation. it's the right one for america. >> president biden speaking today from the white house. we have much more to come, stay with us. we have much more to come, sta with us. (vo) when you are shopping for a new vehicle, how do you know which brand you can trust? with subaru, you get kelley blue book's most trusted brand winner, seven years in a row. in fact, subaru has won most trusted brand for more consecutive years than any other brand. no wonder kelley blue book also picked subaru as their best overall brand. once again. it's easy to love a brand you can trust. it's easy to love a subaru.
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region to stick to the withdrawal plan. staying one more year in afghanistan, means we stay forever. because if 20 years of training and equipping of the afghan security force, had this little impact on their ability to fight, then another 50 years wouldn't change anything. that was senator chris murphy of connecticut speaking last week on the senate floor. in support of the u.s. withdrawal from afghanistan, senator murphy has supported biden's decision to withdraw troops, since april, since president biden first announced the leave. joining us now live is senator chris murphy. he chairs the subcommittee deals with afghanistan. senator it's nice to have you here. thanks for your time. >> thanks for having me. >> so the president tonight, talked about the fact that he is getting criticism, and he accepts the criticism, for the scenes of what's happening in afghanistan, he also admitted that the speed at which the
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taliban has consolidated control over afghanistan, is something that was a surprise, even if that vision eventually elated soap wasn't. what do you make of those two factors? and what do you make of the presidents remarks today? >> the president made a tough decision, but the right decision. and frankly, a decision that was essentially forced on him by the trump administration. which are drawn down our forces to the 2500. it was just not true that we are going to be able to stave off a taliban offensive, with those kind of numbers, the president had two choices, either complete the withdrawal, or surge back to 8000, 10,000 troops. something that frankly the american people were not going to support. i find it pretty incredible that people look at this decision and try to portray it as weakness. what would've been weak, would've been for the united states of america to continue to play patsy in afghanistan, to continue to throw money, and an afghan government, in an afghan military that was not
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doing their part, it would be to advertize that the united states was willing to be taken advantage of, and spend trillions of dollars and thousands of american lives in the process, this decision was a difficult, one bit in the end it was the right one. it tells our future partners around the world, that the u.s. will be in business with you, but not forever, if you are not willing to stand up and do your part. these scenes are heartbreaking, they're devastating. but i just want to be honest with you. as someone who's been to afghanistan a number of times, who's listened to the intel analysts over and over. the taliban was going to take back this country, when the united states left, and the american people were never going to support the united states being there for another 20 or another 50 years. >> the very practical consequence, of the speed with which the taliban have consolidated control, is the need to speed up the evacuation of everybody who were trying to get out of the country. and now we've heard a lot of
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speech-ifying, in a lot of the right kinds of language. from leaders of all stripes, in terms of making sure that we have done that. obviously, it needs to be faster, in a more considered effort, a larger effort, then it has been. having 6000 troops on the ground at the airport may facilitate that for people who can get to the airport. but there's a lot of questions as to how much of an evacuation effort we can mount, what role does the senate have? what role does congress have in pressuring the government, and finding ways, to make more evacuations happen? >> first of, all congress actually authorized an emergency appropriation, just about 30 days ago. seeing this problem coming. i can't say that we saw the taliban offensive moving this fast, but the administration actually does have additional resources, with which to use, to bring these evacuees from
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afghanistan back home. someone who has long supported american military withdrawal, i think the president has made the right decision. to temporarily surge forces there to bring them home. now, it probably does mean that we're going to have some type of dialogue with the taliban. as richard angle reported right now, the taliban seems to be at least standing aside as we seek to get some of our close allies out of the country. in the short term, they're probably going to necessitate us having some conversation with the taliban, to make it clear to them that there will be consequences, if they don't continue to allow these evacuations to happen. i think there will be some questions that need to be answered by the biden administration, and the trump administration, about whether we could have started these evacuations much earlier, but right now, i think congress stands ready to give additional resources to beyond what we already have to make sure this happens quickly. >> senator chris, murphy chairman of the subcommittee that oversees afghanistan policy, leading in the foreign
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policy in the democratic party, thanks for your time, it's a difficult time i know. >> thank you. >> okay we have much more ahead tonight. stay with us. e much more ahea tonight. stay with us stay with us i was drowning in student loan debt. i was in the process of deferring them, paying them... then i discovered sofi. completely changed my life. lower interest rate. my principal is going down. sofi is a place where you can start to tackle those money goals today. compared to where i was three years ago, i'm kinda killing it.
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correspondent and author. she spent years as a bureau chief, and included some landmark interviews that jolted the u.s. were effort at a time. we have turned to her as a colleague and it is an explainer when the u.s. halves change course and afghanistan over years, of course she joins us tonight. it's really nice to have you here. thank you for making time. i know it's a difficult day. >> thank you so much for having me rachel, it's good to be here, to talk to you about this. >> let me just ask about your contacts, enough dana stand. on the personal were colleagues. and what today means for people you've been in touch with. >> rachel, it's devastating.
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it's pure devastation. everyone i have been talking to feels completely betrayed and we can argue about whether america should have pulled out but what really matters is how america should have pulled out. i spoke to afghan women who have been the strongest women i've ever met in my life who have cracked and who have cried. they said i thought they were my friends and i'm more worried now about how they're getting out and where they're going to go. many of them say, we don't know. we don't know if we even can go to america, the way that we have betrayed. we thought they were friends, and now we realize that they weren't. it is a sense of betrayal for the afghans. a lot of people think these 20 years were not worth it. and we did just press erase, for the last 20 years. but we saw a lot of achievements in the last 20 years. we saw girls going to school,
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we saw women in the workplace, in government, running for president, these last 20 years were worth it for the afghan people, and unfortunately right now it is, they are mourning anyone who knows afghanistan, who's met afghanistan's, the who's met -- there and morning as well. >> is there anything the u.s. government can do now? you talk about how whether or not the united states was never going to leave, the question of how you have ended up becoming a determinative thing, in terms of whether this was a betrayal. in terms of what happens to the afghan people with this departure. is there anything the united states can remediate? now with 6000 troops going back, in with these evacuation scaling back up. with the soberana's for which this collapse is being greeted in the u.s.. is any of this crown retake-able? >> honestly right now, it's not about retaking ground, it's
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about saving our friends. i can't tell, you i've been awake for the last few, nights on the phone, constantly, awake during the daytime here clearly to context versus in america, awake at night, talking to my friends, to politicians, to people i met along the way, to people that u.s. service members here in america are connecting me to. finding me emails from my website. saying help this soldier that i was with. i don't know what to do. and i personally don't know what to, do but i'm trying. i'm trying. i'm talking to a female commando. two sisters who were part of the afghan special operations, you are trained by u.s. service members, who are now hiding from the taliban. the taliban went into their home, luckily they escaped minutes before hand. because they saw them outside. this is in kabul. i'm begging people to let them come in, to the kabul military airport. they said they would sleep on the ground. they said that they know that they will die outside of those gates. but there's no one to help.
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they're stuck there, a female politician, that i was talking to, she had no idea this was going to happen. and now the taliban have sent people, to stay right in front of her house, trapping her inside with her three daughters. she can't get out. she can try to get out, but the problem, is even if i try to get out right, now i could even make it to the airport. there's no one there to let me in. these are our friends, the ones that we left without anyway. >> former nbc bureau chief in kabul, a journalist, author, atia, thank you so much for being here with us tonight. we'll have you back in a couple days as this continues. >> thank you rachel. >> you heard her mention there, that there are u.s. army, u.s. military veterans, of the afghanistan war. who have been working on their own, to try to get their own friends and allies, and people who helped them during their tours. to try to help them get out.
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we'll be speaking with one of those u.s. military veterans right after the. stay with us. right after the. stay with us
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down one by one systematically. the reality is the taliban does not care about our standard of vetting, zone who gets visas and doesn't. if you work today with, us they are going to kill you. if we fail to do this, mass murder is going to take place. and we have all of the means to prevent it. >> we have the means to prevent a. that was major matt zeller, here on this show, july 7th over a month ago. zeller is a veteran, he served in afghanistan, facing the prospect of a taliban takeover of this country, of that country, he and the organization he cofounded, no one left behind, have been sounding the alarm for months, about the need to get going. to evacuate thousands of afghan men and women who are a grave risk from the taliban, simply because they worked alongside
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and helped u.s. troops during our war effort there. we now know, that's what's happening right now in kabul. we know the alarms, then matt zeller and others were sounding, were accurate, they were right, including about the timing. the u.s. embassy in kabul is fully closed. all staff have left. the u.s. has been able to relocate and evacuate some interpreters and their families. but thousands more remain on the ground, waiting for visas, amid chaos and frustration. so what happens now >> can meaningful action be taken in the coming hours and days to make a difference? joining us now is major matt, zeller cofounder of an organization bringing afghan interpreters safety to the u.s.. matt thank you so much for being here. i know you haven't slept, and i know it's been a difficult time. >> thanks for having me. yes i have family in kabul right now, it has been tough. >> tell me about what can be done. i ask that first. because i am so clear, that you
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have been sounding the alarm, warning that this was going to go this way for so long. you are right. for weeks and months, before this finally happened. now that we are here, and everybody is scrambling to figure out what can be done. i feel like we owe it to you, who has been writes, to ask what can be done now? >> first thing i'd ask is the president of the united states takes a meeting with our team. we want to be proactive partners in this. we one have wanted to be proactive partners this whole time, and we have a plan and a solution there's army of americans right now at work, they are private organizations, private citizens, human rights organizations, veterans organizations, from all walks of life. there are people in the government, who are busting their butts right now, from all sides of the aisle. this is a whole of american effort. and it is probably the thing i'm most proud, of to see how much are american citizens are rallying, and how we're finally trying to get this right. there is a will to do, this the president needs to understand the american people want to exit honorably. and we have thus large through
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data. we can still fix it. so here's how we do it. we have a beach had in kabul right now. i know this is going to sound crazy, but the taliban are afraid of us. they are afraid that if we stay they could lose the country. they are not going to fight us for these people. and i'm willing to risk that the. we have the largest military on the planet. let's use it for one good purpose, to get these people out. we have a beach had in kabul, we need to keep it open for as long as we can and put as many people onto his many planes as we can. and then we need to go to places, that we don't have beach heads up. there's a guy i'm talking to right now, i was talking to him privately one-on-one, cause i needed to talk to somebody, and i needed to hear from someone who is inside television territory to hear what it was like from myself. i talked to him the night the taliban took over his city. any told me the next, day he said matt, i told my wife met zeller called. me and now we have hope. because maybe you can help get us out. they have hope in the american
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people. and i told him brother, i don't know what's going to happen. i can't advise you. i only know that we have one airport in kabul, that doesn't even seem to be functioning at this. point it is now but it wasn't. then i can't tell you what to do, and he said i'm going to have to think on, it but i don't, he said, he still loved us. he was still proud of the service he did with us. and he wouldn't change, get anything to it for a good life. that guy is worth fighting for. those are our people. we can go in and we can get them. he is still alive. they haven't killed these people yet, and the places are going door to door, in cities where we are not, they are taking them away. in kabul they're just telling them hey, we're putting you on a list. we're going to be coming back when the americans are gone. in some cases it sounds like according to what your corresponding said, they're now to actually taking people away. we need to use the military we have, to take people. i know it's controversial, i know it's not popular, but my goodness, what is more popular?
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the mask death you're about to see on tv, knowing we could've solve this problem. and i think we still can. we just need to keep this beach and open as long as possible, the only person in the world that can order that is the president of the united states. i'm asking please sir, we have a solution in place. we can tell you how to do. our team wants to be of help. we're trying or best. we just want to solve this this whole time. this is a disaster that still hasn't fully unfolded yet. you can still say these people. >> matt zeller, the cofounder of no one left behind. veteran of the war in afghanistan. matt thank you for being here. for your clarity, and for your commitment on this. thanks. thank you >> thank you for having me. >> okay, we have more ahead. stay with us. kay, we have more ahead. stay with us stay with us so when i started having unintentional body movements called tardive dyskinesia... ... i ignored them. but when the movements in my hands and feet started throwing me off at work... i finally had to say, 'it's not ok.' it was time to talk to my doctor about austedo. she said that austedo helps
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heavy news in the world right now. i have a very very bright silver lining for you. now it's time for the last word, with lawrence o'donnell. lawrence is back. which is a wonderful thing. lawrence we miss you terribly.
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>> rachel, i'm afraid that's the best we can do and silver linings tonight. you are in afghanistan in 2010. our first guest tonight, was deployed with the 82nd airborne. she says, that she thought then, that this is how this was going to end. whenever it ended, it was going to look something like this. what was your feeling, when you are there? in literally the middle. 2010. right in the middle of it. about where we were, and where we were going to end up? >> the reason that i went back there at that time, was because it was the obama surge. which president biden was opposed to, which he said in his speech, he reminded everybody he was opposed to that. and with tens of thousands, 100,000 troops flooded back into afghanistan. the idea was, the concept was, one last push. we'll give them the best chance, to be able to stand up a sustainable governme